Time to fall foreward. Whether you're looking to bring the clubs on a bona fide holiday or a business retreat buffered with leisure time, there a lot of luxury hotels and resorts that also offer golf on the menu.
From those hosting PGA events to Golf Digest's highest ranking courses with plush hotels a putt away, I've complied a list of above par places that let golfers hit the links then hit high thread count sheets as guests.
The rugged headlands of Scotland or the sandy shores of Bermuda? There's plenty of fairway to go around and get you around the world.
<a href="http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/r464/" target="_hplink">The Frys.com Open</a> teed off in San Martin on Thursday. A spare room won’t be easy to find while the tourney is on, but once the pros pack up, pack your bags for <a href="http://www.kiwicollection.com/hotel-detail/the-lodge-at-cordevalle-san-martin" target="_hplink">this tranquil golf spot</a>. A villa suite offers walk-in closets, fireplaces and an enclosed patio featuring an outdoor shower and private whirlpool spa—to relieve sore “fore” arms.
October 18 to 21, 2012, <a href="http://www.kiwicollection.com/hotel-detail/the-lodge-at-sea-island" target="_hplink">Sea Island</a> plays host to the <a href="http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/r493/" target="_hplink">McGladrey Classic</a>. But whenever you go, the lodge’s Golf Learning Center with three of Golf Digest’s top 50 teachers there to help you with your swing. There are 40 rooms, most with views of the ocean or fairways, a 4,500-strong wine cellar and a myriad of other ways to pass the time (i.e. eight clay tennis courts, spa and fitness center, sailing, deep sea-fishing, salt marsh kayaking, and skeet shooting, to name a few).
With the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open having recently wrapped up, you already know the other kind of clubs can be found in Sin City too. <a href="http://www.kiwicollection.com/hotel-detail/wynn-las-vegas-resort" target="_hplink">The Wynn</a> has its own Tom Fazio and Steve Wynn designed 18-hole, par 70 course, amongst all the other Vegas treats you’d expect. Wynn-win, right?
<a href="http://www.kiwicollection.com/hotel-detail/the-breakers" target="_hplink">This Palm Beach icon</a> has it all, some of which includes private beach bunglows, ten restaurants, and two golf courses, which are exclusive to guest and club members. And here opulence meets eco-consciousness; a part of <a href="http://www.kiwicollection.com/luxury/top-hotels" target="_hplink">Kiwi’s Eco Collection</a>, it uses a reverse osmosis irrigation system for its course, and also purchases a 50 per cent energy offset from Renewable Choice Energy.
Home to the <a href="http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/r058/" target="_hplink">PGA’s Franklin Templeton Shootout</a> December 7 to 9, 2012, <a href="http://www.kiwicollection.com/hotel-detail/the-ritz-carlton-golf-resort-naples" target="_hplink">The Ritz</a>’s Tiburón Golf Club, one of its two Greg Norman-designed courses, hosts the event. There’s also sandy beach nearby, offering the non-golfer much entertainment to. While it’s Naples, Florida and not Naples, Italy, you will find <em>bellisima</em> Italian fare at restaurant Lemonía.
<a href="http://www.kiwicollection.com/hotel-detail/la-quinta-resort-club" target="_hplink">This 45-acre resort and course</a> in Palm Springs hosts the final stage of the <a href="http://www.pgatour.com/qschool/" target="_hplink">PGA Qualifying Tour</a> November 28 to December 3, 2012. There are five public courses to play and the Jim McLean Golf School for instruction, plus private patios and fireplaces are standard in rooms, while many others also offer private yards with swimming pools and hot spas. This spot has a stunning history too, having hosted Greta Garbo and Clark Gable back in the day.
<a href="http://www.kiwicollection.com/hotel-detail/the-lodge-at-pebble-beach" target="_hplink">The iconic Pebble Beach</a> has hosted many a tourney and ranks a well-deserved six on Golf Digest’s Top 100, but golf legend Jack Nicklaus describes the four championship courses as “possibly the best in the world.” The number of other amenities here rivals the par of its most famous course (72, FYI), including dining, horseback riding, shopping, spa experiences and beautiful beachfront.
At the beginning of the year, <a href="http://www.kiwicollection.com/hotel-detail/the-ritz-carlton-kapalua" target="_hplink">the resort</a> hosted the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, and it makes perfect sense because where else would the titans of golf rather be in chilly January than the perennial paradise of Maui. Two championship courses sit on a pineapple plantation, and then there are the pools, beach and whopping 17,500 square foot spa.
<a href="http://www.pga.com/grandslam/2011/" target="_hplink">The PGA Grand Slam of Golf</a> returns to Bermuda, October 22 to 24, 2012, and <a href="http://www.kiwicollection.com/hotel-detail/the-fairmont-southampton" target="_hplink">this hotel</a> plays official host. Ten minutes away from the Port Royal Golf Course where action takes place, the Fairmont boasts its own winning 18-hole course. When you’re done your round head for a dip in the pool, ocean or visit the 31,000 square foot spa for ultimate relaxation.
The icon, arguably the birthplace of golf, St. Andrews Scotland is a must-visit for any golf aficionado. On its most famous course, the <a href="http://www.kiwicollection.com/hotel-detail/old-course-hotel-golf-resort-spa" target="_hplink">Old Course Hotel</a> gets you views of the grounds (the Old Course suites offer the best) and another 30 courses are all within a 30-minute drive. There are other things to do at this hotel (like a Kohler Waters Spa with rooftop Jacuzzi), but really, it’d be silly to do anything but golf.
Home to perhaps Scotland’s second most famous course, Ailsa, (<a href="http://www.golf.com/special-features/18-best-courses-scotland" target="_hplink">fourth, according to Golf.com</a>), <a href="http://www.kiwicollection.com/hotel-detail/turnberry-a-luxury-collection-resort-scotland" target="_hplink">Turnberry</a> is home to gorgeous greens and a gorgeous resort to match. Preferential tee times are one of the perks for guests. Other amenities include 800 acres of countryside for frolicking and a Grand Tea Lounge offering the highest order of afternoon delights.
If you aren’t already a member of Ireland’s most famous Royal Country Down, well good luck getting in. Your better bet is a stay at seaside <a href="http://www.kiwicollection.com/hotel-detail/doonbeg" target="_hplink">Doonbeg</a>. Their Greg Norman course was tweaked a few years ago to make it more quick and playable (on a calm day, that is). The evening’s lodgings are cozy, on the higher end of cottage.
Golf Digest ranks this nefariously named <a href="http://www.kiwicollection.com/hotel-detail/the-farm-at-cape-kidnappers" target="_hplink">New Zealand course</a> <a href="http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-courses/2012-05/100-best-golf-courses-outside-us" target="_hplink">sixth outside the U.S.</a>, and its stunning setting on 6,000 acres rimmed by a spectacular cliff has something to do with that. With just 22 suites and one four-bedroom cottage, it’s a much more low-key resort. Rooms let you take in all 180 degrees of the course, working farm and Pacific Ocean.
Near the most northern tip of New Zealand is <a href="http://www.kiwicollection.com/hotel-detail/lodge-at-kauri-cliffs" target="_hplink">this lodge</a>, Cape Kidnappers’ sister property. It too has a championship golf course (ranked 25th), astounding views—take in other from either the hole or the infinity pool—and 22 sumptuous suites fitted with fireplaces and private porches.
You may not have considered heading to South Korea for a golf holiday, but you should. There are a few ranked golf courses here, including Golf Digest’s 33rd, <a href="http://www.ninebridges.co.kr/English/" target="_hplink">Nine Bridges</a> on Jeju Island. Just seven miles away is <a href="http://www.kiwicollection.com/hotel-detail/the-shilla-jeju" target="_hplink">this family-friendly resort</a> with a Kids Club (so you’ll know your brood will be well-entertained while get you some quality time with your clubs) and six restaurants to satisfy picky eaters.
Find three championship courses on the grounds of <a href="http://www.kiwicollection.com/hotel-detail/fancourt-hotel-country-club-estate" target="_hplink">this South African property</a>. Number 67 of <a href="http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-courses/2012-05/100-best-golf-courses-outside-us" target="_hplink">Golf Digest’s 100 list</a>, this 115-room hotel also offers delicious dining and serene spa treatments. Aquatic adventures and wine tasting aren’t hard to find either.
Home to it’s own Steenberg Classic from October 29-November 3, <a href="http://www.kiwicollection.com/hotel-detail/steenberg" target="_hplink">this South African stunner</a> tops <a href="http://www.cntraveler.com/golf-resorts/polls/2012/best-golf-resorts-hotels-2012" target="_hplink">Condé Nast Traveler’s 16th Annual Golf poll</a> for "Best Foreign Golf Resort". With a championship course designed by world-renowned course architect Peter Matkovich, its 14th hole is the largest green in Africa at 76 meters. Set at the base of the Steenberg Mountains in a restored 17th century building, the resort is charming, elegant and the perfect spot to celebrate your new handicap with some of the region’s finest wines.
Some go to Costa Rica for the surf, but if it’s sand traps you seek—the adventure of avoiding sand traps, that is—head to <a href="http://www.kiwicollection.com/hotel-detail/four-seasons-resort-costa-rica-at-peninsula-papagayo" target="_hplink">the Four Seasons at Peninsula</a> with its Arnold Palmer-designed golf course. Warm up your swinging arm with a swim in 10,765 square foot freshwater pool, salty seas or seated with the sun shining in on you in your open air living room.
Follow Joy Pecknold on Twitter: www.twitter.com/joypecknold